Source:         Bedfordview And Edenvale News (Extract)
September 15, 2021

“A pet will always be there for you so whether you need some comfort while curling up together on the couch, going for a walk or having some playtime at home, time spent with them will always be emotionally beneficial.”

September 10 marked World Suicide Prevention Day and this year, the global theme was ‘Creating hope through action’.

This message focuses on the hope that people will be empowered with confidence to engage with this complex subject.

During the pandemic, working from home, schools closing, quarantining, social remoteness, unemployment and the loss of loved ones all became a reality.

Marycke said the heart of the Hill’s brand lies in a fundamental desire to make a difference in not only pets’ lives but those of pet parents and their families too.

Having recently sponsored A Dog for Life on Netflix, Hill’s Pet Nutrition was able to work with organisations to make a difference in the lives of South Africans from all walks of life, some having suffered loss, lacking in self-esteem and experiencing anxiety.

Marycke said the show helped bring awareness of the emotional support pets provide.

Depression affects more than 260 million people in the world while around half of all mental health conditions start by age 14.

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in young people aged between 15 and 29.

According to statistics provided by World Population Review, in 2019, South Africa was ranked number 10 in countries with the highest suicide rates.

The World Health Organisation further states that every 40 seconds, someone in the world commits suicide.

The pandemic has seen adults, teens and young children dealing with stress, anxiety and trauma not previously experienced.

Research shows that pets can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression and that individuals with pets tend to be happier, with improved self-esteem and social skills.

Marycke reminded potential pet parents that if they are considering bringing a pet into their home that it is a lifelong commitment.

Individuals who may require emotional support are encouraged to contact The South African Depression and Anxiety Group or the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567.